Individuals and Families
January 11–17. Doctrine and Covenants 2; Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65: “The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn to Their Fathers”

“January 11–17. Doctrine and Covenants 2; Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65: ‘The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn to Their Fathers,’” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: Doctrine and Covenants 2021 (2020)

“January 11–17. Doctrine and Covenants 2; Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65,” Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: 2021

Moroni appearing to Joseph Smith

He Called Me by Name, by Michael Malm

January 11–17

Doctrine and Covenants 2; Joseph Smith—History 1:27–65

“The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn to Their Fathers”

The Holy Ghost can teach you every time you read the scriptures—even scriptures you have read many times before. So be open to new insights and inspiration.

Record Your Impressions

It had been three years since God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to Joseph Smith in the grove, but Joseph hadn’t received any additional revelations since then. He began to wonder about his standing before the Lord. Like all of us, he had made mistakes, and he felt condemned by them. Yet God still had a work for him to do. And the work Joseph was called to do is connected to what God asks of us. Joseph would bring forth the Book of Mormon; what have we been asked to do with it? Joseph would receive priesthood keys to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers; how are we turning our hearts to our ancestors? Joseph was told of prophecies that would soon be fulfilled; what is our part in helping to fulfill them? When we take part in God’s work, we can expect to face opposition and even persecution, just as the Prophet did. But we can also have faith that the Lord will make us instruments in His hands, just as He did for Joseph.

See also Saints, 1:20–48.

For 360-degree views of historic sites associated with the Doctrine and Covenants sections in this outline, click here.

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Ideas for Personal Scripture Study

Joseph Smith—History 1:27–33

God has a work for me to do.

As you read Joseph Smith—History 1:27–33, consider that God has a work for you to do, as He did for Joseph Smith. Ponder this invitation from President Russell M. Nelson: “Ask your Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, how He feels about you and your mission here on earth. If you ask with real intent, over time the Spirit will whisper the life-changing truth to you. … I promise you that when you begin to catch even a glimpse of how your Heavenly Father sees you and what He is counting on you to do for Him, your life will never be the same!” (“Becoming True Millennials” [worldwide devotional for young adults, Jan. 10, 2016],

You may sometimes feel the way Joseph did in verses 28–29. What can you learn from Joseph’s example about what to do when your actions are not consistent with the work God has called you to do?

Joseph Smith—History 1:34–65

The Book of Mormon contains “the fulness of the everlasting Gospel.”

As you read Joseph Smith—History 1:34–65, consider what details in these verses might stand out to you if you had never heard of the Book of Mormon before. As a believer, why is this account important to your testimony of the Book of Mormon?

Consider how the Book of Mormon fulfills the prophecies in Isaiah 29:4, 11–18.

Joseph Smith—History 1:36–41

The Restoration of the gospel fulfilled ancient prophecies.

Moroni quoted to Joseph several Old and New Testament prophecies, such as Isaiah 11; Acts 3:22–23; and Joel 2:28–32. Why might these prophecies have been important for Joseph to know? Why are they important for you to know?

Doctrine and Covenants 2

What did Elijah restore?

President Henry B. Eyring said: “It is important to know why the Lord promised to send Elijah. Elijah was a great prophet with great power given him by God. He held the greatest power God gives to His children: he held the sealing power, the power to bind on earth and have it bound in heaven” (“Hearts Bound Together,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2005, 78).

See also Doctrine and Covenants 110:13–16; David A. Bednar, “Let This House Be Built unto My Name,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2020, 84–87.

Palmyra New York Temple in autumn

Palmyra New York Temple. Families are sealed in the temple by the power restored through Elijah.

Doctrine and Covenants 2

Elijah came to turn my heart to my ancestors.

What do words like “plant,” “hearts,” and “turn” in this section teach you about the mission of Elijah and the blessings of the priesthood keys he restored? How have you felt your heart turn toward your ancestors? Think of ways you can experience such feelings more often. Perhaps you could ask a relative to share a story with you about one of your ancestors—even better, you could record it. Maybe you could identify a deceased ancestor who never received gospel ordinances and then perform that work in the temple.

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Ideas for Family Scripture Study and Home Evening

Joseph Smith—History 1:28–29.

How did Joseph Smith feel about his mistakes? What did he do in response to those feelings? What do we learn from him about what to do when we make mistakes?

Joseph Smith—History 1:33–54.

You could ask a family member to read aloud part or all of Moroni’s message from Joseph Smith—History 1:33–42 four times (because Moroni repeated this message four times). Between each reading, ask the other family members to share what they remember from his message, without looking at the scriptures. Why might the Lord repeat important messages several times? What are some other ways the Lord teaches us through repetition?

Doctrine and Covenants 2:2.

To help your children understand the “promises made to the fathers,” you could read Abraham 2:9–11 together or watch the video “Special Witnesses of Christ—President Russell M. Nelson” ( Identify the promises God made as part of His covenant with Abraham. How do we “plant” these promises in our hearts?

Doctrine and Covenants 2:2–3.

To help family members turn their hearts to their fathers (or ancestors), you could invite them to learn about an ancestor and to share what they learn with the rest of the family. Why does the Lord want us to learn about our family members and perform temple ordinances for them? How are we blessed when we participate in family history and temple work? (see Dale G. Renlund, “Family History and Temple Work: Sealing and Healing,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2018, 46–49).

For more ideas for teaching children, see this week’s outline in Come, Follow Me—For Primary.

Suggested song: “Family History—I Am Doing It,” Children’s Songbook, 94.

Improving Personal Study

Use scripture study helps. Tools like the footnotes, Topical Guide, Bible Dictionary, Guide to the Scriptures, and can help you better understand the people, events, and phrases in the scriptures.

Moroni giving Joseph Smith the gold plates

Joseph Receives the Plates, by Gary E. Smith